15 October, 2012

Guest Post: Tower of Terror 10-Miler Recap

Hey guys!  This has been long overdue but I wanted to finally share with you Danielle's awesome guest post about her experience at the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  Seeing all the photos gives me serious race envy but I'm secretly glad I missed all that crazy humidity!  It seems like a lot of other recaps I've read follow the same trend...IT WAS HOT AND HUMID!!

If you want to read a slightly different version of Danielle's recap and continue along with her Goofy training, go check her out at her blog, Live, Run, Grow!

(Oh, and if it's not obvious, all photos are courtesy of Danielle!)


Hi Everyone!

You may have read my Cars Land 5k guest post here on Eat, Sleep, Run Disney about a month ago.  Well, a few weeks after getting back from Disneyland I was fortunate enough to be able to head down to Walt Disney World for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler as well!

I arrived in Florida on Thursday afternoon and spent the rest of the night at the Magic Kingdom getting in a few rides and having my first Dole Whip of the trip!  I was traveling alone, which was a first for me (to Disney or otherwise), but I actually ended up really enjoying it!  I didn’t have to worry about what anyone else wanted to do and I got in some fantastic people watching!  It’s a well known fact that Disney is the #1 place for people watching (ok, I’m not sure that’s actually scientifically proven or anything, but it has to be, right?!?)

I went back to my room to get to sleep pretty early on Thursday night because I had big plans for Friday – I wanted to get in a run, go to the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo and then I was planning on lunching and dinnering (I know that’s not a word, but it should be!) myself around Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival!  (I did manage to do all those things, but as a side note to anyone running the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, it may not be in your best interest to eat food from 9 different countries the night before you run a race…just saying.)

Anyways, after my morning run I headed to the Health and Fitness Expo.

The expo was definitely smaller and had less vendors than any of the other runDisney expo’s I’ve been to so far, but on the plus side having less vendors (and less participants in this race) left enough room to actually comfortably walk around the place!  Since I had seen most of the same vendors a few weeks ago at the Disneyland Half Marathon I picked up my packet and headed over to the runDisney merchandise area to get my event pin and wine glass which I’ve gotten from each race so far (and yes, I totally “borrowed” the wine glass collection idea from Jenn!).  I quickly found the pin and a little less quickly realized they didn’t make Tower of Terror wine glasses!!  However there were pint glasses.  So, I had a decision to make…pint glass or no glass?  (Ah yes, the tough decisions of a health and fitness expo!)  As I’m not one to make such tough decision for myself, a quick call to my husband to weigh in quickly put the issue to rest, “of course you should get the pint glass!  It’s better than no glass at all, right?”  Settled, pint glass it is!

So, along with my pin and “better than no glass at all” pint glass I picked up a villain themed tank at the Raw Threads booth and my free poster from Lasting Commemoratives and was on my way back to the hotel to drop off my haul.

I did eat myself around the Food & Wine festival that night and very unwisely continued to eat myself around Disney World the next day as well (RACE DAY…oooops!).  I went back to my room and napped for a couple of hours and then since I wasn’t staying at a host resort I took a cab to the ESPN Wide World of Sports and then hopped on a bus to the race start in the parking lot outside of Hollywood Studios.

I got there around 7:30pm, which was a lot earlier than I was hoping so I killed time by taking some pictures since there was a few cool photo op areas set up…

Around 9:15 we moved into our corrals  (probably the only time I’ll be in corral A since it was a smaller race!)…

...and then each corral was moved up to the starting area (about a 10 minute walk from the original corrals).  Unfortunately because I had gotten to the starting area a little early I was feeling pretty sleepy which was definitely not a good thing!  I did my best to wake myself up by stretching, jogging in place and having a little dance party with the rest of corral A when “Call me Maybe” came on (I just can’t help myself with that song!) And then, before I knew it, it was 10pm and we were off!

I was excited to get going and since this was a night time villain themed race I was looking forward to finding out exactly who and what we were going to encounter along the way!

The first thing I noticed that we encountered was some MAJOR humidity!  For some reason I hadn’t even noticed it when we were waiting for the race to start, but as soon as I started running I was drenched in sweat and felt like I could barely breathe.  Apparently when we started it was 80 degrees and 1000% humidity (or close to it…) which does NOT make for good race conditions!

My mind set very quickly went from “yeah, Disney race time!” and “I can’t wait to get my cool glow in the dark Tower of Terror medal!” to “Ok, this is not fun any more…” and “I don’t really need another medal, I have plenty already.”  There were many times during this 10 miles (which seemed more like 10 days) that I seriously considered just stopping.  I mean really, who would know (or care) if I pulled up at a medical tent with an “injury” or if I just walked off the course into a crowd of spectators and cheered on everyone else?? But, I didn’t.  I kept going.  I kept thinking about how I was registered for Goofy in January and if I couldn’t make it through 10 miles in some humidity how the heck was I going to make it through a half and full marathon on back to back days!?!

I kept plugging along making sure to drink at every water stop and doing my best to wring out my shirt (from sweat, not water…gross I know but it was that bad!)  I did stop to take a few character photos along the way (which was a welcome break from running!).

The 10 miles was mostly on highways, but around mile 6 we turned off the road on to a gravel path that led us in to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex where we ran around both the track and the baseball field.

Out of ESPN we were back on highway for another 3 miles until we FINALLY made our way in to Hollywood Studios and ran through the "Lights Motor Action" set...

...down the Streets of America and Hollywood Boulevard and then FINALLY backstage and to the finish in the shadows of the Tower of Terror!

I have NEVER been so glad to reach a finish line (or thankful that this was a 10 miler and NOT a half marathon!).  

While I may look back at this as my worst race ever (and here’s to hoping it stays that way!) I really did learn a lot from the experience both about what to do and not to do when preparing for a night race, and about pushing myself through something even when it’s uncomfortable (and really sweaty). I have a feeling I’m going to be calling on this experience when I’m exhausted and struggling to just put one foot in front of the other come Goofy time in January!

One last note to anyone whose first runDisney experience this was – it gets even better! runDisney didn’t seem to treat the Tower of Terror 10 Miler the same way they do their half or full marathon events. It seemed as though everything was done on a slightly lesser scale – there was no meet up, the expo was pretty small, the staging at the starting area wasn’t as big and even the mile markers along the course were much smaller than they usually are.  I think as a 10 miler this was probably a first runDisney event for a lot of people since it’s a bit more manageable than a half marathon and while you may not have noticed what was “missing” I promise your next runDisney experience will be even bigger and better when you see their full effort on an event!


Thank you, Danielle!  LOVE the photos with the gravediggers!  

Side note, I'm so sad I didn't get a wine glass from Disneyland this year!  The lines were CRAAAAZY when I went and I forgot to get one on the 2nd day.  So if anyone randomly has an extra one?  I'd love to buy it off you.

Oh, and "Call Me Maybe" is definitely what got me through the end of the Disneyland half!  I know it's played out but OMG I still love it too.

So what do you guys think?  Looking forward to next years Tower race?  Want runDisney to tweak anything?

1 comment

  1. So fun to see Danielle's post here today!

    And Jenn - can't wait to read more posts from you. Hope you're doing well...I know you're super busy. Would love to read more about your races and CrossFit.